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312          MY    COUNTRY    AND    MY    PEOPLE

Art consists in doing with what one has on hand and still allow-
ing for human fancies to come in and break the monotony of
blank walls and cramped backyards. Shen Fu (middle
eighteenth century), author of the Fousheng Liuchi, outlines in
this tender little book, which reflects the best spirit of Chinese
culture, how even a poor scholar can manage to have a beauti-
ful house. From the principle of irregularity in Chinese archi-
tecture we develop, with intricate human fancies, the principle
of concealment and surprise, as capable of infinite development
in the designing of the rich man's country villa as in that of the
poor scholar's dwelling house. In Fousheng Liuchi (Six Chapters of
a Floating Life} we find an important statement of this principle.
With this formula we can, according to the author, make even
a poor scholar's house artistically satisfying. This principle
is stated in the formula that we should "show the large ia the
mall and the small in the large, provide for the real in the
:nreal and for the unreal in the real." Shen Fu ssays:

As to the planning of garden pavilions and towers, of
winding corridors and outhouses, and in the designing of
rockery or the training of flower-trees, one should try to show
the small in the large and the large in the small, and provide
for the real in the unreal and for the unreal in the real* One
reveals and conceals alternately, making it sometimes
apparent and sometimes hidden. This is not just "rhythmic
irregularity," nor does it depend on having a wide space and
a great expenditure of labour and material. Pile up a mound
with earth dug from the ground and decorate it with rocks,
mixed with flowers; use live plum branches for your fence,
and plant creepers over the walls. Thus there will be a hill
in a place which is without hills. In the big open spaces,
plant bamboos that grow quickly and train plum trees with
thick branches to cover them. This is to show the small in
the large. When the courtyard is small, the wall should be
a combination of convex and concave shapes, decorated with
green, covered with ivy, and inlaid with big slabs of stone
with inscriptions on them. Thus when you open your window
you seem to face a rocky hillside, alive with rugged beauty.
This is to show the large in the small. Contrive so that an